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Old 6 Apr 2010
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Entering Russia with my car

I am entering Russia with my car in the next few weeks. It's a Toyota 4WD. It will be the second time that I enter Russia with it.

Last time was my first time, I was a little naive and inexperienced, and now reckon I got fleeced. I don't remember the exact amounts, but I remember paying about $90 for a month's insurance, and paying to have some customs document for the car (and paying a bribe to have it for a month rather than 14 days), paying for some health insurance, and something else too. All in all it came to about $150 as I remember.

Anyway, I was just interested in what others have experienced. I now know that it's possible to extend the customs document for the car free of charge. I also know that as a British Citizen I'm covered by European Health Insurance (i.e. that provided by my country).

So this time I'm hoping to pay a lot less.

Does anyone know roughly what I should pay? What's been you're experience taking in a car?


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Old 6 Apr 2010
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We paid Rouble 5,500 for 6 months continuous insurance for Russia in Vladivostok. Our initial custom costs (also naive) was US$150 coming in at Zarubino. This included all our 'fees' to the woman who did all our paperwork. and official fees.

Our last entry to Russia from Astrakhan in Kazak cost us Rouble 200. I think this was the normal fees. Paperwork is actually very easy if you can read a bit of russian(alternatively ask for en english form-They're not always available though). Just ensure you check your time permitted in the country. The woman wanted to give us 5 days only to get from Volgograd to Moscow and St P. After some firm words with the guy in charge and after me writing a letter saying that we will be keeping the car in the country for about 30 days, he issued the papers with my requested days. he only wanted something to cover his back in case his boss had something to say. He kept on saying that there maximum time they allow is 2 weeks.

We didn't pay any health insurance at the border. Only car insurance the first time and the custom fees for the other times we entered.
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
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Old 6 Apr 2010
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One of my favorite topics!

I've entered Russia three times in the last couple years on my moto, and here is my experience:

I am pretty sure that at the border they can grant you up to three months temp import for your vehicle, but no longer than your visa. But for some reason, many border officials seem to think that they can't issue it for more than two weeks. Frankly, I don't think it is (or is purely) a means to extract bribes, there seems to be genuine confusion on this issue. I don't think it is possible to get a temp import at the border for more than three months, no matter how hard you try. I don't think there are any "customs fees;" if there are any they are nominal (a couple of hundred rubles). If you need a week or two more than what they are offering and are comfortable with the baksheesh process, I would offer 1000 rubles, but need to recognize the constraints above, they probably won't violate these rules no matter how much you offer them.

As mentioned, you can extend it in many cities for up to a year, but to make such an extension there are some registration requirements (I think you can extend for a couple months with no registration, but for longer you need to be registered in that city.). In any event, no extension longer than your visa. If you extend in a customs office, it should be free, but in Moscow as far as I can tell you have to extend via an intermediary organization, which costs 5000 rubles for an "express" extension (which means you skip the line and get the extension after 30-40 minutes, otherwise you could spend the better part of a day waiting around).

I don't recall what I paid for insurance, but I think about 2000 rubles for 60 days. If you arrive during business hours, at least at reasonably large border crossings, insurance should be available at little booths between the borders.

I speak Russian and have never had any problem at the russian border, and have generally been impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the Russian border folks. BTW on a moto I've just scooted up to the front of the line without any overt complaints from anyone...

[EDIT] I forgot to add that these comments apply to "normal" border posts. I have not been to these places, but it sounds like a couple posts, in particular Vladivostok and maybe Sochi, operate according to different rules (or maybe better to say no rules...).
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Old 6 Apr 2010
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Russia is part of Green Card system now.
So if you have Green Card from insurance company you are free to go with out Rus insurance.
Paper work is lesser but time consuming is still same.

Also they change custom clearance on Finish border 20 March you don't need vehicle clearance any more.
Hope that helps
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Old 6 Apr 2010
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Different border crossings do indeed operate to different rules, or should that read 'make it up as they go along'.

On my second entry to Russia, I crossed from Kazakhstan at the Orsk crossing. I didn't have to pay anything, unless it was just whatever the official paperwork fees were in the low hundreds of roubles - not enough to stick in the mind and certainly not baksheesh (or 'beeeezness', as they call it in Russia!) I was on a 1 month tourist visa and the customs officer, with my passport open in front of him, asked whether I wanted 1, 2 or 3 months of customs clearance!

The cost of insurance sounds about right - when I entered at Vladivostok, I bought 3 months of 3rd party insurance for a Landcruiser for about the high 2 or low 3-thousands of roubles, to cover me for a month going through Russia to the Kaz border, then to cover me for a further month when I re-entered Russia from Kaz a month later. It was cheaper to do it this way than to buy 2 one-month policies. I had heard re the Green Card scheme being extended to Russia, but see this

Last edited by ilesmark; 7 Apr 2010 at 11:13.
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Old 7 Apr 2010
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I have regularly ridden UK registered bikes in and out of Russia, using various border points with Baltic states. In 2007 I was charged about 100roubles ($3) on each of 2 entries. Each year since there has been no charge.

Insurance is another matter. I paid about 2000 roubles ($55) for 4 months bike insurance. It's only the legal minimum piece of paper to keep the Road Police happy!

By the way, after some pleading but no bribes, last summer I got a 4 month entry for the bike despite them pointing out the 90 day visa restriction. I explained it was only for emergency and I would fly out to come back for it later if problems arose.
As Motoreiter says, they always seem to want to give you less than you ask for or are entitled to have.
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